A community rallied round to help after an explosion ripped through a house in Blackburn.

The incident happened on Sunday evening (December 17) on London Road and affected three homes with one being completely destroyed. A barbers close by also appeared to be affected.

Rubble was strewn across the street and fire teams had evacuated residents from adjoining streets.

Some parked cars had also been destroyed, whilst CCTV shows another vehicle passing the home immediately before the explosion.

Crowds had gathered immediately after the incident and helped to rescue a man who had been trapped inside.

One resident who lives nearby told us: “There was a huge bang and people came running out on the street to see what happened.

“I am just glad everyone was okay in the end.

“We heard there were people trapped inside and people were quick to help. The community came out to support those affected.”

Another man who lives close by said that residents had complained of a gas smell.

A team of gas engineers were working alongside the fire service to make the area safe and were sifting through the rubble.

Another man who was said to be walking past when the incident happened said he picked through the rubble to help and was thankful there had been no serious injuries. 

Police said one man was rescued from the property by firefighters and taken to hospital by ambulance. His injuries are not at this time thought to be life threatening. He is believed to be the only casualty.

Earlier text messages were being shared about the incident turned out to be false.

Emergency services were quickly on the scene and cordoned a large section of the road off. The explosion had affected adjacent properties.

Faz who lives nearby said they had been told to leave their homes and were not able to return.

“We can’t get back inside and are being told to wait.”

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Some families were attempting to get belongings and medicines from their homes and were being escorted in by officers, if safe to do so.

The Noorani Education Centre which is behind the affected homes and was opened up for evacuated families.

However, only one family attended the centre with the remainder being taken in by neighbours and relatives. The centre was closed soon after.

Earlier in the evening, a mosque imam had sent out a message to local residents in Gujerati asking people to support the emergency services and those affected.

Recap: Major incident as house collapses on London Road

Councillor Phil Riley, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “The gas explosion must have been really frightening for everybody involved.

“I’m really sorry one family has lost their home and eight other families needed to be evacuated. I hope the man who was inside at the time makes a speedy recovery.”

He continued: “The council has been working closely with all the other public services to respond to the explosion.

“I know that people in the community pulled together to make sure the 50 people who needed to leave their homes had a safe place to go last night which has helped tremendously. There will be welfare officers meeting with them to make sure they are supported.”